I got most of my knowledge on health and fitness through social media and the internet. I’m interested in evidence based training and nutrition – and I find extensive, new and old information about all of that on my Instagram and YouTube feed and e mail inbox every day.
For me it’s crystal clear HOW exactly dieting, losing weight and gaining muscle works. WHY people lose or gain weight. HOW they can improve their diet and what lacks their current one. I know of most misconceptions in the fitness and health world. I sometimes laugh when people say carbs are “bad”. Or food/ingredient XYZ is “bad”. Those are things my friends and family say too sometimes. And I only laugh because I’ve been flooded with the “right” information about these topics for years now.
Let me give you some more extreme examples I found when looking through hashtags on Instagram such as #weightloss, #weightlossjourney and #gethealthy:
(Mostly) Women posting about “appledays” – days where they only eat 6 sour apples for one day because they’re not happy with what the scale says. They’re celebrating a 0.5lb weight loss in a week or are devastated when the scale goes up by the same amount (that’s 0.22kg – my weight fluctuates up to 1.5 kg within a week!). What shocked me the most is the general negative sentiment towards food. The restriction and guilt. “I ate too much.” “I had a piece of chocolate – I’ll never lose weight if I have chocolate every day.” – “I didn’t have the slice of bread I wanted with my food BUT AN AVOCADO AND TWO HANDFULS OF NUTS IN MY SALAD INSTEAD! #health #weightloss” And I’m sitting there thinking like “you could enjoy your diet so much more and be so much more efficient and happy in what you’re doing …”
A huge amount of people doesn’t know anything about how to correctly fuel their body. They don’t know about macronutrients and micronutrients or that the main reason for weight gain / loss if the caloric intake vs. caloric output.
You might think at this point: “Well you’re a fitness professional, of course you know these things!”
In my opinion I should know things better and more in depth than you. But we all have a body that we want to keep healthy and working for a long time, so why are we not all informed a little better about the basics of how it operates?
What frustrates me about this, is that there IS so much right, scientific information out there – why are there still so many misconceptions?
I found myself “stuck” in this fitness industry, thinking people have all this knowledge but ignore it – just to discover – after consciously stepping out of that bubble for a moment – that people don’t KNOW BETTER!
Now I ask myself – and you (whether you are a personal trainer/nutritionist/social media influencer/parent or someone who cares about their health and the health of others): How can we raise awareness to this? How can we educate children (AND ADULTS!) better so that they understand the outline of how their bodies work? That the fitness industry is just using their lack of knowledge to make money with detox teas, slimming shakes and programmes promoting “apple days”. That it promotes “low carb diets for weight loss” or “healthy foods” that are also extremely dense in calories which can easily lead to weight gain and more frustration of those trying to shed some extra kilos, even though they think they’re “on track”.
How can we stop labelling foods and diets as “good” or “bad”? How can we improve the general sentiment towards food – remove the guilt, replace it with education?
I don’t feel guilt when I overeat. Because I most probably ate food I really enjoyed. I also don’t feel guilty if I have a piece of chocolate every night after dinner. Because I eat it in moderation, I have a diet I enjoy coming back to, one that is sustainable. And no shit – it works. And I only have that because I educated myself.
I wish I could give you answers to the questions I asked earlier – but I need your input. I can try to contribute to a healthier attitude towards food and educate those people I have influence on (on social media and in real life) to the best of my ability. I think however, that there are bigger steps to be taken to expand people’s knowledge of their body and health. I’m talking about the educational system. And the whole fitness and food industry.
This is something that affects everyone every day. Not feeling comfortable in your body can consume a person’s thoughts entirely. Extremely unbalanced eating behaviours do have an effect on our bodies. AND MINDS!
In the end, I want to mention some Instagram accounts I can highly recommend for more evidence – based information on workouts, diets and tips for a balanced lifestyle:
Let me know what you think about this topic of if you need any advice on nutrition or working out in the comments, dm me on my instagram ( @coachcappuccino) or write me an e-mail! ( firstname.lastname@example.org